Sculpture on lawn outside The Booth Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

The Booth Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

Must-See Stops off I-75

Explore these can’t-miss stops on your journey through Georgia.

With its big-time historical sites and small, quirky attractions, Georgia’s I-75 has "road trip" written all over it. Whether you drive it north to south in one long adventure (which is how we’ve explored it here) or choose to break its 339 miles into smaller trips, you’ll get a kick out of the great photo opportunities, scrumptious eats and educational possibilities along the way.

Exit 353 - Ringgold

The journey begins a stone's throw from the Tennessee border at the Georgia Visitor Information Center in Ringgold, where you’ll find brochures, travel tips and helpful information from friendly staff. Pick up some reading material for the road and plot your course to the state's world-famous attractions, best places to eat and relaxing places to stay.

Exit 318 - Calhoun

The Rock Garden in Calhoun, Georgia
The Rock Garden in Calhoun, Georgia

A must-see gem off I-75 in Calhoun is known by locals as The Rock Garden. Open dawn to dusk, this magical plot tucked behind the Seventh Day Adventist Church features a miniature city of 50 structures -- castles, bridges, a monastery, a cemetery, and more -- built with pebbles, shells, glass, and ceramic tile.

Before departing Calhoun, satisfy your barbecue craving with fall-off-the-bone ribs at Dub's High On The Hog Bar B Que. The nondescript downtown joint doesn't have a sign (it’s that good!), so take Highway 53 South to Highway 41 North and look for a log cabin with a red roof and a parking lot filled with cars.

Exit 293 & 288 - Cartersville

Family looking at dinosaur fossils at Tellus Science Museum
Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

Now, make your way south to Cartersville for the ultimate in fun for the kiddos -- dinosaurs, cowboys, and history, oh my! Get your natural-history kicks at the Tellus Science Museum (exit 293), with glowing minerals, a massive T. rex, an interactive fossil dig, and much more.

Sculpture outside Savoy Automobile Museum in Cartersville, Georgia
Savoy Automobile Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

Also off exit 293, don’t miss the Savoy Automobile Museum, featuring four galleries that showcase race cars, classic American cars, station wagon woodies and rare and unique vehicles. The awe-inspiring displays will appeal to collectors, enthusiasts and admirers everywhere.

From there, explore Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site (exit 288), the most intact Mississippian culture site in the Southeast. From 1000 to 1550 AD, it was home to several thousand people and a fascinating place to explore.

And because your visit wouldn’t be complete without a little cowboy action, stop at The Booth Museum in downtown Cartersville (exit 288). It features the largest permanent collection of contemporary Western art in America, including paintings, movie posters, and an interactive kids room.

Exit 212 - Locust Grove

Wave to Atlanta as you travel south to Locust Grove and Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary, a 250-acre nonprofit animal sanctuary where more than 1,500 abused, injured, and orphaned animals are cared for. Call ahead to ensure the habitat is open to visitors.

Exit 142 - Fort Valley

Children eating ice cream outside Lane Southern Orchards
Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, Georgia

Is it time for a slice of peach pie yet? Absolutely, and Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley is happy to oblige. Depending on the season, you can also check out the strawberry patch, corn maze and farm tours.

Exit 127 - Montezuma

Hungry for more? Just a hop and a skip down the interstate, you’ll delight in delicious, budget-friendly fare like grandma-style fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans, at Yoder's Deitsch Haus, which sits within a Mennonite community in Montezuma.

Exit 109 - Vienna

Ellis Brothers Pecans - jars

And don't forget to pop off I-75 for a heaping bag of freshly roasted, Georgia-grown peanuts or pecan halves at family-run Ellis Brothers Pecans.

Exit 82 - Ashburn

Crime & Punishment Museum
Old Sparky at the Crime & Punishment Museum in Ashburn, Georgia

Blink and you’ll miss the Crime and Punishment Museum in Ashburn. Outside, the former jail resembles a brick house; inside, you’ll see remnants of the South's incarceration history, including a replica of Georgia’s electric chair. The museum’s Last Meal Cafe, named for the last meal death-row prisoners can request, provides Southern-food lunches by appointment on Saturdays.

Exit 41 - Sparks

Vineyard at Horse Creek Winery in Sparks, Georgia
Horse Creek Winery in Sparks, Georgia

Our ride down I-75 ends at Horse Creek Winery Tasting Room - Sparks, where its 40 acres produce some of the sweetest muscadine grapes in the country. A rustic tasting room welcomes you to sample the handmade wines; on a hot day, the signature wine slushy is a must-try.

Published: June 2024
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